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Патент USA US3021167

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Feb. 13, 1962
Filed Jan. 20, 1958
2 Sheets-Sheet 1
Ea 7,
Feb. 13, 1962
Filed Jan. 20, 1958'
2 Sheets-Sheet 2
Patented Feb. 13, 1962
FIGURE 11 is a sectional view of a modi?ed form of
the construction of FIG. 10.
Referring more particularly to the drawings, wherein
Milton A. Moskovitz,‘ 8135 Antler Drive, Richmond
Heights, Mo., assignor of one-half to Harry Frankel,
I have illustrated a preferred embodiment of the inven
tion, there is shown a typical front wheel suspension, as
St. Louis, Mo. -
Filed Jan. 20, 1958, Ser. No. 709,921
2 Claims. (Cl. 287-90)
viewed from the rear of the motor-vehicle.
The wheel-supporting spindle 1 has a steering knuckle
associated therewith, with upper and lower ends 2 and 3
respectively, and a steering arm 4 for actuating said
v This invention relates to automobile constructions and
more especially to an improved ball joint assembly for
use in independent steerable wheel suspensions.
knuckle, the latter in turn being actuated through pivotal
interconnection with a tie-rod end 5 that is controlled by
the vehicle operator.
Upper and lower control arms 6 and 7 respectively
have annular ?anges struck up therefrom to form the eyes
This application is a continuation-in-part of my appli
cation Serial No. 501,157, ?led April 13, 1955, and now
The invention has among its objects a construction 15 8 transversely through said arms, and said arms are
wherein the ball joints may be completely assembled
pivotally connected at one end (not shown) to the motor
units that are installable or replaceable without requir~
vehicle and are connected at their other ends for universal
ing disassembling, and wherein the materials that are ‘ movement, by ball and socket joints, to the knucke ends.
best suited for speci?c functions and characteristics are
Each of said joints is in the form of a cartridge or
so arranged to insure a long and safe life to the structure. 20 self-contained unit that is completely assembled and which
Other objects of this invention are to improve the
can be inserted into or removed from said eye without
effectiveness and to prolong the useful life of dust boots
disturbing said assembly of the unit. This unit includes
or seals for ball joint units.
' a tubular socket member 9 having a bore axially there
A feature of this invention is an improved seal con
through, one end 10 of this bore being preferably some
struction in which a highly resilient sealing element is re 25 what oval or in the shape of an ellipse as shown most
inforced and protected by an outer resilient element.
clearly in FIG. 2.
Another feature of this invention is the establishment
The socket member may have its exterior of such a
of an improved relationship between a dust seal and a
size and shape as to be positioned through said eye,
convex housing whereby the application of a force press
preferably by forcibly driving said member axially
ing the seal towards the housing will produce a substan 30 through said eye opening. A radially outwardly pro
tial increase in the force and/or area of engagement be
jecting ?ange or shoulder 11 at one end of the socket
tween the seal and the housing.
‘member abuts the eye ?ange at the end of driving move
Another feature of this invention is an improved ’ ment insertion, and thus limits further insertion move
multiple-section seal for ball joint units.
ment of said socket member into the eye.
Many other objects and advantages of the construction
Where the end 10 of the opening is non-circular, as
herein shown and described and the uses and advantages
shown, it is necessary to insure that the elongated axis
mentioned, will be obvious to those skilled in the art to
of said opening is positioned in a predetermined angular
which this invention appertains and as will be apparent
relationship with the arm, and for this purpose guide or
from the following speci?cation.
To this end, my invention consists in the novel form,
arrangement, construction and combination herein shown
and described and as will be more clearly pointed out in
pilot means are provided to act between said socket mem
her and the eye ?ange so that only when said member is
at a predetermined single angular relationship with the
arm member, can the socket member be driven home in
the eye. For example, one of said cooperating members
the claims hereunto appended.
In the drawings, wherein like reference characters
may be provided with a longitudinally extending rib 12
represent like or corresponding parts throughout the 45 to be slidably received in a longitudinally extending
FIGURE 1 is a fragmentary vertical elevational view
of a portion of the front wheel suspension of a motor
groove 13 in the other member.
In order to lock the socket member against axial with
drawal after it has been driven home to the properly
vehicle, with parts shown in cross-section;
assembled relationship with the arm eye, the socket mem
FIGURE 2 is a cross-sectional detail, taken substan 50 ber may be provided with a second, outwardly extend
tially along the line 2—2 of FIG. 1;
FIGURE 3 is a cross-sectional detail, taken substan
tially along the line 3-3 of FIG. 1;
ing ?ange or shoulder 14 spaced longitudinally from the
?rst ?ange, said shoulder spaced from the adjacent end
of the eye after said socket member has been fully driven
‘FIGURE 4 is a cross-sectional detail, partly in eleva 55 home, and forming an annular groove about the exterior
of the socket wall between said shoulder 14 and the
opposed adjacent control arm face.
tion, showing the interlock between the spring locking
ring and the dust seal end;
FIGURE 5 is a plan view of a locking ring;
A locking ring member having a pair of mutually
divergent ?anges 15 and 16 at an angle to one another,
FIGURE 6 is a fragmentary view of a portion of the
one of said ?anges, ?ange 15, extending radially out
lower ball joint unit of FIG. 1 illustrating the seal in its 60 wardly and abutting the adjacent face of the control
precompressed position;
FIGURE 7 is a fragmentary view in partial section of
a modi?ed form of seal in its free or precompressed
arm and one end of its eye, and the other ?ange 16
having a plurality of circumferentially spaced resilient
?ngers extending radially inwardly at their free ends
to form an anular opening thereat that is somewhat
_ FIGURE 8 is a fragmentary view in partial section 65 smaller than the diameter of the groove seat.
of the seal of FIG. 7 in its compressed position;
FIGURE 9 is a sectional view of a further form of
seal construction illustrated prior to assembly to the
Obviously, after the socket member has been driven
home through the eye, and while the locking ring is
in place, the ?ngers of the latter will spring or snap
ball joint;
past the'shoulder 14 into the groove seat, to lock the
70 socket member against accidental withdrawal axially
FIGURE 10 is a partially cut away view of a double
in one direction. To remove the socket member it is
seal construction; and
first required that said locking ring be removed in anyv
preferred manner from interlocking engagement with
the socket member.
The locking ring shown in connection with the upper
control arm has the ?ange 15 reentrantly bent to provide
an annular pocket to receive and interlock with a corre
spondingly-s'haped annular end of a dust seal 17 that
is made of a rubber-like material, and will act to hold
said dust seal ?xed at that end.
The dust seal 17 encloses the open end of said socket
member and has an aperture at its other end to receive 10
a sleeve 18 of a material such as of nylon, which is
slightly expansible but less expansible than the rubber
like material of the seal, interposed thereat to bear against
It will be observed that the inner element 19 is keyed
or locked to the shell 20 both by the provision of an
annular tongue 60 on element 19 engaging an annular
groove 62 in the under surface of shell 20 (FIG. 6) and
by the provision of a plurality of keying protuherances
64 on element 19 engaging corresponding apertures in
shell 20. Other bonding means may be employed if
desired and, as will be seen, it is not essential in all
cases that any such bonding or securing means be pro
The socket members of the- joints are each provided
with a concave bearing surface 22 at the small end of
the bore and there may be a closure element 23 across
its other end. The stud that forms a part of the joint
the stud and knuckle, and this sleeve will resist wear
much better than the rubber-like material of the seal 15 unit is rotatable and tiltable in the socket opening ‘and
has an enlarged head 24 within the socket opening, the
and therefore increase the period of usefulness of the
shank projecting axially outwardly through said open
dust seal.
_ The other joint may have a like dust seal, or if desired
A rotatable and tiltable bearingmember is interposed
it may differ somewhat and include a rubber-like inner
shell 19 to encircle the stud shank and exterior of the 20 in the socket between the stud and said concave bearing
surface and has a convex exterior for complemental
socket member, and with an outer shell or sleeve 20 of
bearing relationship with said concave surface. Instead
a different and preferably radially slightly expansible
of making this bearing member or bushing of a single
material such as nylon or the like to slidably telescopi
material throughout, with a uniform coefficient of fric
cally receive said inner seal element and fully protect
the latter from the elements. The size of the element 25 tion at all of its bearing area, I have found it desirable
to make best use of several available bearing materials
20 may be such that it axially displaced from its initial
to thereby increase the efficiency and longevity of the
position upon tighening of the stud nut, to shift said
element 20 toward said socket member to the full line
To this end, I so construct said bearing member that
position shown. This axial shifting of the element 20
will act to contract the inner compressible shell element 30 various portions of its bearing exterior surface will have
friction coei‘?cients ‘that differ from one another, as for
19 to cause the latter to tightly engage the exterior sur
instance by making a pair of axially spaced end bearing
face of the socket member and improve the sealing there
sections 25—25' of carburized and hardened copper, iron
or the‘like which have the property of being lubricant
The relationships between the seal elements 19 and
20 and the convex portion of the socket member or 35 impregnable and retaining, but which are substantially
inelastic or non-resilient. Intermediate these end sec
casing 9 prior to the assembly of the stud shank and
tions I interpose the section 26 of a material such as ny
the eye-equipped member 3 (FIG. 1) are illustrated in
lon or the like, that is only slightly elastic or expansible
FIG. 6 of the drawings. In the arrangement there shown,
under compression and which has a comparatively low
the cup-shaped resilient element 19 is ‘provided with a
coefficient of friction. Initially, said section 26 may be
radially outwardly diminishing wall thickness and has
of slightly less diameter than that of the socket bearing
a concave under surface which generally conforms to
surface that it is intended to engage, so that under
the curvature of the convex end surface of the casing 9.
compression said intermediate bearing section will be
The shell 20 is similarly shown to have a radially out
radially expanded into bearing engagement with said
wardly diminishing wall thickness, but its concave under
bearing surface.
surface does not conform to the convex end of casing 45 socket
In order to prolong the ‘effective life of said bearing,
9. In the illustrated embodiment, the inner surface of
the various bearing sectionsv may be rotatable relative to
element 20 and the convex surface of casing 9 are both
another. While satisfactory relationships can be
shown'to be spherical, but in both the partially assem
established by providing abutting ?at face surfaces on
bled and the, fully assembled positions, the center of
curvature of the former is displaced from and'above the 50 the several sections, in the illustrated upper. ioint the
sections are provided with interengaging ribs and grooves,
center of curvature of the latter. The radii of the
as for example with the ribs 27-27’ on the opposed
two surfaces may also vary from one another, and in
faces of the end sections and annular mating grooves
the illustrated arrangement the radius of the curvature
28—28' on the faces of the intermediate section. Such
of the inner surface of element 20 is slightly greater than
the radius of curvature of the convex surface of casing 55 rib and groove interconnection retains the parts in proper
relationship while permitting the adjacent sections to ro
9. The requirement, of course, is that the curvatures
- tate'relative to one another, to thereby present fresh
of the surfaces so differ that the diameter of the lip por
bearing areas, to the socket bearing surface and to achieve
tion of the seal structure, in its free position, be less than
the diameter of the casing section against which the lip
a slower and more uniform wear.
portion presses when the seal is fully assembled to the 60 The lower joint shows a slightly different way of in
terengaging the nylon bearing section 29 with the end
casing so that forces are exerted tending to expand the
lip of the seal as the seal is forced over the casing. This
sections 30—30’.
may be accomplished by using surfaces of similar con
By rounding the peripheral edges of the bearing sec
?guration (e.g., both spherical) but with their centers
tions, peripheral grooves are formed between adjacent
of curvature being displaced from one another even 65 sections in which lubricant may accumulate and com
in the assembled position, or by forming the surfaces
municate with the opposed faces of the sections to re
to different shapes.
duce rotary friction thereat.
Since in the seal shown in FIGS. 1 and 6 the inner
Although nylon is an excellent bearing material and
element 19 is quite resilient relative to the shell 20, it
has a low coefficient of friction, it has a tendency to
is not critical whether the center of curvature of its 70 cold-?ow under excess loading and to seize or grab in
convex surface be at or spaced from the center of cur
the absence of su?’icient lubrication, so that although it
vature of the convex surface of easing 9, the forces for
is inadvisable, to use it alone as the bearing member, yet
pressing the seal lip into proper engagement with the
it performs admirably in associat on with the other ma
casing being derived‘ primarily from the action of the
75 terial as herein disclosed, and the oil exuded from the
less resilient shell 20.
bearing surfaces of the oil-impregnated material will al
ways provide a suf?cient oil ?lm to prevent such seizure.
The sandwiching of the element 26 between the elements
25 and 25' W11 control the cold-?ow of the nylon section,
If it is desired to pre-load the bearings of the joints,
yieldably resilient pressure means, such as the plate 31
and spring 32 may be interposed between the socket
closure and the head of the stud.
The double seal illustrated in FIG. 10 includes a lower
seal having a resilient element 86 and a backing member
or shell 88 of less resilient (e.g., steel or nylon) ma
material, and an upper seal having resilient member 90
and shell 92. The lower seal is designed to make tip
engagement with the convex surface 94 of the ball joint
casing 96 and the upper seal is designed to make tip
engagement with the shell 88, in ‘both cases, the appli
In the seal construction illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8
cation of compressive forces during assemblyincreasing
of the drawings, the seal 66 is formed of a resilient ma 10 the force and area of the tip engagement. It will be noted
terial such as rubber backed by a less resil'ent and effec
that the upper seal is in sealing relationship with the
tively rigid shell 68 formed, for example, of steel. These
stud shank 98 and will tilt therewith, but the lower seal
elements can, but need not, be bonded together.
is spaced from the shank 98 and will not tilt with tilting
The seal 66 and the shell 68 are provided with aligned
movements of the shank at least until the angle of tilt
central apertures which accept and engage the portion 15 is extreme.
72 of the stud shank, the element 66 sealingly engaging
The modi?cation of FIG. 11 'is presented to illustrate
that shank and the metallic element 68 serving both as
that the upper sealing element 90' can be conformed to
a reinforcement and as a bearing surface engageable
the curvature of the shell 88' of the lower seal assembly,
with the eye-equipped member to reduce the friction
with the shell 92' being appropriately formed to develop
during rotation of the parts.
20 the increasing force of engagement between the tip of
The lip of the seal 66 sealingly engages the convex
the seal 90' and the shell 38’ during assembly. In each
end 70 of the ball joint casing. In the free, unstressed
case where such a construction is employed, assembly can
condition of seal 66, as illustrated in FIG. 7, the tip of
be facilitated if the shell (92') is not bonded or secured
the lip thereof makes line contact with the curved por
to the resilient seal element (as element 90') so as to
tion 70 of the casing, the d'ameter of the lip being 25 permit the shell to move longitudinally of the resilient
greater than the effective cross-sectional diameter of the
element during the assembly operation.
portion 70 at its uppermost end but being less than the
While it will be apparent that the embodiments of
effective cross-sectional diameter of the cylindrical por
the invention herein disclosed are Well calculated to ful
tion 74 of the housing. The remainder of the inner
?ll the objects of the invention, it will be appreciated that
surface 76 of the seal 66 is spaced from the convex sur 30 the invention is susceptible to modi?cation, variation and
face 70 at this point in the assembly operation. In the
change without departing from the proper scope or fair
meaning of the subjoined claims.
illustrated arrangement, the inner surface 76 is primarily
What is claimed is:
surface 70 at the line of engagement. Otherwise stated,
1. Ina ball and socket joint unit including a socket
the angle between the longitudinal axis of the casing and 35 casing for connection to one body and a stud for con
the tangent to the surface 70 at the line of engagement
nection to a second body to secure those bodies for rela
is greater than the angle between that axis and the inner
tive tilting and rotational movements, the casing having
an apertured externally convex end through which the
surface 76 (or the tangent to the inner surface) of the
stud projects, a seal for enclosing the aperture comprising
seal 66 at the l’ne of contact. It will, of course, be ap
preciated that since a major portion of the inner surface 40 a pair of seal elements each of which includes a resilient
cupped member having a central aperture to accept the
76 does not come into contact with surface 70, its corn
?guration is not critical and it may be curved or may
stud and a peripheral lip, and a relatively in?exible shell
member surrounding and engaging the outer surface of
be formed of a plurality of curved or straight sections.
said resilient member to provide rigidity for the same,
It will also be appreciated that the tip of the seal may
conical and lies at an acute angle to the tangent to the
one of said resilient members of one of said seal ele
be provided w'th a short section having a curvature gen
erally conforming to the curvature of the surface '70 so 45 ments sealingly engageably receiving the stud shank and
also having an inner surface which differs in contour
as to provide, at the initial engagement, area contact.
from the opposed contour of said convex end of the
In all cases, the requirement is that the inner surface
casing, the lip of the resilient member of the other seal
of the seal above the uppermost point of initial contact
element engaging said convex end of the casing, the lip
be spaced from the surface 70 of the housing.
When the seal is forced upon the casing (as during 50 of the resilient member of the ?rst of said seal elements
engaging the ‘shell member of the other seal element,
the placing of the eye-equipped member on the stud
whereby axial pressure on said ?rst seal element toward
shank), the seal 68 is distorted from its free condition
said casing forces the lip of said one seal element into
to the stressed condition illustrated in FIG. 8. This dis
intimate engagement with the casing.
tends the lip of the seal, forcing it to assume a larger
2. In a ball and socket unit including a socket casing
diameter and establishes a substantial force of engagement 55
for connection to one body and a stud for connection in
between the seal and the surface 70 resulting from the
a second body to secure those bodies for relative tilting
resiliency of the material of which the seal 68 is formed.
and rotational movements, the casing having an apertured
In this fully assembled pos'tion, area contact is estab
externally convex end through which the stud projects,
lished between the seal and the casing.
The modi?cation of FIG. 9 illustrates a seal in which 60 a seal for enclosing the aperture comprising a pair of
seal elements each of which includes a resilient cupped
the resilient portion 78 is not bonded or otherwise secured
member having a central aperture to accept the stud
to the shell 89. In this arrangement, the inner surface
and a peripheral lip, and a relatively inflexible shell mem
82 of the portion 78 is or may be conformed to the shape
ber surrounding and engaging the outer surface of said
of the convex end of the ball joint casing, but the shell
80 is so formed that the tangent to its under surface near 65 resilient member to provide rigidity for the same, the
lip of the resilient member of one of said seal elements
the tip thereof is at an acute angle to the tangent to
engaging the externally convex end of the casing, the
the under surface 82 at a corresponding point. There
resilient member of the other one of said seal elements
fore, during assembly, the pressing of the shell 80 down
sealinglv engaseablv receiving the stud shank and whose
wardly toward the ball joint casing results in the estab
engages the shell member of said one seal element,
lishment of an increasing force of engagement between
one of said members of said other seal element having an
the lip of the seal 78 and the casing. Shell 80 may
inner surface which differs in contour from the opposed
?ex to a degree in the process, but primarily, the force
contour of the shell member of said one seal element,
derives from the compression of the lip of resilient ele
whereby axially forcing said other seal element toward
ment 78.
75 said casing forces the lip of said one of said members into
Vogt ______ -_ _______ __ June 26, 1956
intimate engagement with said convex end of said cas-
Booth ______________ __- Feb. 11, 1958
France _____________ __ Mar. 26, 1934
France _____________ __ Oct. 27, 1954
References Cited in the ?le of this patent
Kull et a1. __________ __ June 15, 1937
Booth ______________ __ Aug. 10, 1954
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